Northern California Record

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Bill to help with e-scooter safety could be passed next session


By Kyla Asbury | Jul 20, 2019

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SACRAMENTO – A proposed bill to promote the safety of e-scooters will likely not be introduced until the next session of the California state legislature, according to the communications director of Consumer Attorneys Association of California.

Eric Bailey said while the bill could still make it in this session, it's looking more like a two-year bill.

"This one it’s looking like though is going to be what they call a two-year bill, which means it’s not going to move forward this year and will very likely be taken up next year," Bailey said. "That said, nothing is ever done until the session is over. This doesn’t negate the possibility this might move, but it’s not looking very likely."

Eric Bailey | CAOC website

The bill, AB 1286, was introduced by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance).

"This (bill) is an attempt to rein in the accidents and provide a little more accountability and better insurance," Bailey said. "Because insurance is at $100 right now."

Bailey said accidents happen and the companies' legal liability was set at $100.

The bill requires a shared mobility service provider to enter into an agreement with the city or county with jurisdiction over the area of use.

"The bill would require that the provider maintain a specified amount of commercial general liability insurance and would prohibit the provider from including specified provisions in a user agreement before distributing a shared mobility device within that jurisdiction," the bill summary states. 

The bill also requires a city or county that authorizes a shared mobility device provider to operate within its jurisdiction on or after Jan. 1, 2020, to adopt operation, parking, maintenance and safety rules and maintenance rules regarding the use of the shared mobility devices in its jurisdiction before the provider may offer shared mobility devices for rent or use.

The Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC) has spoken in opposition to blaming the companies for negligence in scooter litigation.

"Companies and manufacturers rightfully have a duty of care to their consumers and the general public and must make sure that the products and services they offer are free of defects and comply with applicable statutes and regulations," CJAC President John Doherty told the Northern California Record in an earlier interview.

Doherty argues that liability for misusing the scooters is no more the manufacturer's fault than an auto accident is the auto manufacturer's fault.

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Consumer Attorneys Association of California

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